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Episode 22 – Blast off to the Renaissance!

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On this episode of the podcast, we begin learning about philosophy of the Renaissance. We first discuss the Black Death, a bacterial plague that wiped out 30-60% of the population of Europe. We examine how the population crisis caused by the Black Death led to an economic and political crisis that was ultimately the catalyst for a paradigm shift in philosophical thought. We also learn about the Humanist philosopher Erasmus, who, unlike the philosophers we’ve discussed on recent episodes, did not think that fusing faith and reason was a very good idea. It was much simpler than that. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 21 – Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas Aquinas

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the Christian Aristotelian philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas. We begin by examining a song by The Postal Service which sets the stage for a discussion about how often humans mistake correlation with causation. Next, we learn about Aristotle’s conception of God as “The Unmoved Mover” and his thoughts on the nature of infinity. All of these ideas lead us to St. Thomas Aquinas’ quest to reconcile Aristotelianism and Christianity, which he approaches by arguing that the Christian belief that God created the universe and the Aristotelian belief that the universe has always existed are not mutually exclusive ideas. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! What is the final cause of a human being? Answer below in the comments.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 20 – Two Medieval Approaches To God

St. Anselm of Canterbury
St. Anselm of Canterbury

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the concept of God from a philosophical perspective. We first broaden our definition of God by recalling the multitude of ways that the philosophers we’ve already studied have approached the subject. Next, we examine St. Anselm’s famous “Ontological Argument” in proof of God’s existence, which is strangely reminiscent of a tongue twister Ron Burgundy might use to prepare for his evening newscast. Finally, we learn why Moses Maimonides would say that the first rule of God is, “You do not talk about God.” Or at least, “You do not talk about what God is, only what he isn’t.” All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

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See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 19 – Three Islamic Truths

Averroes
Averroes

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the nature of truth and examine it through the lenses of three Islamic philosophers who each had a different approach to truth seeking. We first discuss Al Kindi and what he would have to say about modern day news organizations and their approach to reporting the “truth.” Then, we learn about Al Ghazali, who at one point became so skeptical about our ability to discover the truth, he actually made himself physically ill. Lastly, we take a look at Averroes who desperately wanted philosophy and religion to be business partners. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! Can you think of anything that, as humans, we accept on faith alone, and we live our lives as through it is the truth? Answer in the comments below!

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 18 – Avicenna

Avicenna
Avicenna

On this episode of the podcast we learn about Avicenna, a 9th century Arabic philosopher who is most known for his “Flying Man” thought experiment. We discuss the mind-body connection (or lack thereof) and ask ourselves what becomes of an iPhone if you pulverize it in a blender. We also work in two Breaking Bad references, and apply Avicenna’s Flying Man argument to modern day ethical dilemmas relating to life support. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! Does Avicenna’s Flying Man thought experiment really make it impossible for the body and mind to be inseparable? Answer in the comments below.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 17 – Boethius

Boethius Imprisoned
Boethius Imprisoned

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about the medieval neoplatonist philosopher Boethius. We find out how he came to be wrongly convicted of treason and subsequently sentenced to death, and how this led him to write a philosophical text that solved one of the oldest problems in philosophy. We manage to compare the main characters of Boethius’ book to Lady Liberty and Eeyore selling a rice cooker on QVC, and explain why Boethius believed that we’re all just contestants on a never-ending episode of Wheel of Fortune. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! Is there anything you are currently scared of that in reality is just a shadow on the cave wall? Answer below in the comments.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 16 – Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss St. Augustine, a philosopher who is known for merging the ideas of Neoplatonism and Christianity. We learn how an unsuspecting child led St. Augustine to devote his life to Christianity through divine intervention, and find out why he thinks crying babies are sinners. We also discuss St. Augustine’s explanation of the concept of time and why he claims that the past and future don’t really exist. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! If you have had a transcendent spiritual experience, what was that one moment you knew that you knew the truth? Answer in the comments below.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 15 – A Period of Transition – Plotinus

Plotinus
Plotinus

On this episode of the podcast, we learn about Plotinus, a Neo-Platonist philosopher who lived in Rome during “the crisis of the third century.” We discuss the difference between religion and philosophy and question whether or not JK Rowling stole parts of Harry Potter’s backstory from Plotinus’ life. We also learn about Plotinus’ Hierarchy of Being and use the phrase “Polaroid Picture” more times than Outkast does in their hit song “Hey Ya!” All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! What adversity has life thrown your way that developed who you are today? Answer in the comments below.

See the full transcript of this episode here.
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Episode 14 – The Hellenistic Age Pt. 5 – A Race to the Dark Ages

Plutarch
Plutarch

On this episode of the podcast, we discuss Middle Platonism and the Race to the Dark Ages. We learn how Philo of Alexandria reconciled Judaism with Plato’s vision of God as a master craftsman, and find out how this relates to building an IKEA bookcase. We also discuss the important distinction Plutarch made between a flatterer and a friend, and why he would have absolutely hated Facebook. All this and more on the latest episode of Philosophize This!

Philosophize This! Look at all of the important relationships in your life. How many of those people would look at you and say that you pass Plutarch’s test. How many people would truly consider you a friend? Answer below in the comments.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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Episode 13 – The Hellenistic Age Pt. 4 – Skepticism

Carneades
Carneades

On this episode of the podcast, we continue our study of the Hellenistic Age, this time focusing on Skepticism. We find out how Pyrro used Skepticism to endure surgery without anesthesia, and learn why you can never really know if a pomegranate is a pomegranate. We also discover how winning the lottery could be the worst thing that ever happens to you, and compare Skepticism’s key philosophers to their Smurf counterparts.

Philosophize This! Has something ever happened to you in your life where at first it seemed really terrible, but after the dust settled, it turned out to be a great thing? Answer below in the comments.

See the full transcript of this episode here.

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